The house that was hit by mudslides on Thursday in Kasese
© John Thawite
The house that was hit by mudslides on Thursday in Kasese
Fresh landslides have buried four more children alive in Kasese district following torrential seasonal rains that have hit the Rwenzori region.

The incident brings to seventeen the number of children so far killed in the landslides in Kasese district since 2011, mostly in Mahango sub-county which has lost eleven children.

The children perished when mudslides struck their sleeping rooms on Thursday in Namuhuga South cell, Bulembia Division, Kasese Municipality and Kyondo sub-county, Bukonzo east constituency.

The four-roomed permanent house in Namuhuga was constructed adjacent to a sharp cliff and above which some agricultural activities were taking place.

Namuhuga cell is part of the populous housing estate of Kilembe Mines, which houses some of the senior civil servants, private company workers, and politicians.

The Bulembia Division chairperson, Pascal Kasoke, named the kids that died in Namuhuga as Derrick Mumbere, 3, Wesley Mumbere John Sunday Masereka both aged 10.

Wesley Mumbere John Sunday Masereka were in Primary II and III Katiri primary school in primary two and three respectively.

Kasoke said another child, Maureen Kabugho, aged 7, who was also in the same room where her colleagues perished, was rescued and rushed to Kilembe Mines Hospital where he said she was undergoing treatment for injuries she had sustained in the incident.

"Kabugho is out of danger but she was only complaining of chest pain and her legs had been fractured," a nurse at the hospital told New Vision yesterday morning.

Modesto Masereka, the father to Wesley Mumbere, Sunday John Masereka said Derrick Mumbere was his grandson.

Masereka, who now lives alone after he and his wife separated, said his dead children were living with their grandparents.

Their 70-year-old grandfather, John Tseghe Kaswa, narrated that said he was listening to his radio when he heard little Kabugho screaming in pain.

"I tried to open the open but failed until my neighbours arrived and helped her out. But by that time, the rest had all perished" Tseghe said.

Regretting the loss of his grandchildren and his house, he implored the government to him relocate his family to a safer place, saying he was too scared of continuing to live in his current home.

Leaders tour

The Mayor Kasese Municipality, Godfrey Kiime Kabbyanga, and Rwenzori East Regional Police Commander (RPC), SP Samuel Asiimwe, were among the scores of leaders who visited Namuhuga to assess the situation.

Kabbyanga, who stays in a few meters from the scene of death, appealed to the Ministry of Disaster and Preparedness to come to the aid of the affected families.

"I am deeply grieved at the demise of three infants, as police we are grieved", SP Asiimwe said.

The RPC discouraged the residents in the hilly Mt Rwenzori areas from constructing houses in areas that prone to landslides.

Asiimwe also asked them temporarily relocate to safer houses and adopt modern methods of farming like terracing to minimise mudslides.

Fourth child

The fourth child died in Kyambiti village, Kyondo sub-county, Bukonzo East constituency.

Jovenale Muke, the sub-county chairperson, named the dead child as Comfort Mumbere, son to Isaac Thakondolha and Nelia Kabugho all who hail from Rwenguhya village in Kisinga Town Council.

He said that the infant was staying with his grandparents in Kyambiti village, where a room he was living in was hit by a rock at around 6 am.

" The repeated landslides in the district are very worrying because we can't tell when or where they will strike next," Muke told New Vision by telephone.

In Kitholhu sub-County, two children of Baguma Kasulenge in Kiraro village also narrowly another landslide and were rushed to Bwera government hospital in Bukonzo West constituency with injuries.

Kasulenge's 16-year-old girl and a boy aged 7 were rescued from a mudslide that had trapped and them halfway.